Quick Takeaways

  • Vacation rentals have impacted the town
  • Lack of long-term rentals have driven away younger workers
  • Vacation rentals are temporarily paused

Mountain Town's Vacation Rental Pause Sparks Debate Between Residents and Businesses (KUNC, Jul. 12, 2021)

Find out how vaccination rates are affecting demand for sort-term rentals. Read about short-term rental restrictions in selected cities and states. Lastly, discover the outlook for short-term rentals.

See References for more information.

Political Advocacy

Current Legislation/Regulation

None at this time.


Issue summary
NAR Federal Issues Tracker

Legislative Contact(s):

Melissa Horn

Regulatory Contact(s):

Melissa Horn

What is the fundamental issue?

Many localities in areas across the country are considering or adopting ordinances that limit or prevent the ability of property owners to rent out properties on a short-term basis. The dynamics of this issue are complex. The infringement upon property rights is a common theme when local governments limit the use of property. Property ownership includes the right to gain income from property; whereas local governments are granted the legal authority to regulate land use within their jurisdiction by police powers and/or zoning regulations. The natural complexities of short-term rentals also create a division of positions among NAR’s membership.

I am a real estate professional. What does this mean for my business?

Rental property especially in vacation destinations may become less desirable to buyers and investors if restrictions are placed upon the amount of time property may be rented or short-term rentals are banned all together.

NAR Policy:

NAR has not adopted an official position on this issue; however, state and local REALTOR®associations may adopt official positions for short-term rental ordinances and/or laws.

Legislative/Regulatory Status/Outlook

There are no federal legislative or regulatory proposals.

NAR Committee:

State and Local Issues Policy Committee


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Impact of COVID-19

What Happened to Airbnb During the Pandemic? (The New York Times, Jul. 16, 2021)

Now many Airbnb hosts are eager to get back to business as usual — although there has been something of a silver lining for these property owners: rising home prices. While hosts lost rental income amid the pandemic, many saw an increase in the value of their property, as there were price increases in 19 of the 20 markets.

Guesty: Booking Habits “Normalising” to Pre-Covid Times (Short Term Rentalz, Jun. 28, 2021)

Meanwhile, the remainder of US 2021 Summer reservation volume [July to September] is currently 270 per cent higher when compared to the same time frame in 2020 volume, and 80 per cent higher than what was seen pre-Covid in 2019. This is a significant sign of recovery, with no signs that bookings will slow down and reservations look set to increase.

Demand for Short-Term Summer Rentals Surges as More Americans Get Vaccinated (12 News, May 5, 2021)

Palm Beach County resident Scott Schry noticed the trend and recently listed his West Palm Beach home on Airbnb. "We're trying to rent this out and take advantage of the unique demand that’s been created from COVID," Schry told CBS12 News.

The Short-Term Rental Debate

One Pierce County Town Has Now Banned All Short-Term Rentals and Airbnbs. Here's Why (The News Tribune, Aug. 4, 2021) E

Among other requirements, the state requires businesses that make $12,000 or more to register. The Steilacoom town code has a lower threshold, requiring anyone conducting business activity to obtain a town business license. The code change is in effect, but gives existing Airbnb and short-term rental owners six months to comply. If there are still rentals by the end of January, owners will be fined $500 for the first day of offense and $1,000 every day thereafter.

A Mountain Town's Vacation Rental Pause Sparks Debate Between Residents and Businesses (KUNC, Jul. 12, 2021)

The city council estimates short-term lodging generates more than $3 million in tax revenue each year, or about 11% of the city’s entire general fund. But they are not sure how many of the units might otherwise be rented or bought by local workers. But one thing is already clear. The city’s young professionals are having a hard time finding places to live.

Short-Term Rentals Target ‘Digital Nomads’ (REALTOR® Magazine, Jun. 14, 2021)

Airbnb recently reported a 24% increase in bookings for long-term stays of 28 days or longer on its platform, up from 14% in 2019. About half of all stays booked on Airbnb were for at least seven nights. “The big trend is flexibility: People are traveling anytime, anywhere, and they’re staying longer,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said on a recent earnings call. “We think all these trends are here to stay.”


COVID-19: Select State and Local Short-Term Rental Restrictions Tracker (US) (Westlaw, Jul. 12, 2021)

As the pandemic evolved, a number of states, counties, and municipalities (especially those with significant tourism sectors) determined they could not rely solely on general public health orders and reopening guidelines to adequately manage the spread of COVID-19. Some jurisdictions supplemented their directives with additional limitations focused on STRs in recognition of the increasingly significant role these lodging options have assumed in their communities.

Which Cities Have Restrictions on Short-Term Rentals? (Millionacres, May 23, 2021)

Each jurisdiction has a different set of rules, but based on your jurisdiction's interpretation, you may be barred from operating a short-term rental. At present, there are many legal challenges surrounding the use of short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods, with many opponents raising zoning law challenges. This may come as a surprise to you, but you do not want to find yourself slapped with a hefty fine for attempting to operate your short-term rental.

Short-Term Rentals Here for the Long Haul (Multi-Housing News, Apr. 5, 2021)

“Property owners need to determine if there are any restrictions against short-term rentals in their area, plan on how they will minimize any negative impacts to their neighbors, plan on having documented protocols as it relates to cleaning and safety and make sure to remit any taxes or other fees to the jurisdictions in an accurate and timely fashion,” said Pam Knudsen, senior director of compliance at Avalara.

* Please check with local government in your rental property area for information on permits, taxation, and regulations.

Websites & Other Resources

2021 Vacation Home Counties Report (National Association of REALTORS®, Jun. 2021) — There was a noticeable increase in net domestic migration in vacation home counties in 2020 as the median number of net movers rose to 98,279 from 78,114 in 2019. Only the Middle Atlantic division (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania) had a net outflow in both vacation and non-vacation home counties.

Short Term Rental Advocacy Center — The Short-Term Rental Advocacy Center (STRAC) is a broad-based coalition of property owners and managers, hosts, travelers and local businesses that recognizes the value of short-term rentals to both travelers and the local communities they visit.

Rent Responsibly — Through efforts to advocate, celebrate, and educate, Rent Responsibly enables fellow short-term rental stakeholders to collaborate more effectively and efficiently in creating a sustainable future. We help our committed members around the world protect their right to rent and take a leading role in improving our communities.

Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) — VRMA works worldwide on behalf of our manager and supplier members to advance the vacation rental industry through education, information, networking, research, and advocacy.


Airbnb for Dummies (eBook)

Airbnb for Property Investors (eBook)

Buying a Second Home (eBook)

Create Killer Vacation Rental Property Photos (eBook)

Complete Guide to Investing in Rental Properties (eBook)

The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties (eBook)

How a Second Home Can Be Your Best Investment (eBook)

How to Succeed and Make Money with Your First Rental House (eBook)

Leases & Rental Agreements (eBook)

The Real Estate Investor's Tax Strategy Guide (eBook)

The Second Homeowner’s Handbook: A Complete Guide for Vacation, Income, Retirement, and Investment (eBook)

Vacation Rental Management 411 (eBook)

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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.